Abacus Medicine Pharma Services is the new name for Aposave. Three years ago when Simon Estcourt joined the newly established company as managing director, he had a vision for creating a pharmaceutical service provider with offerings right across the product lifecycle. Today, the company has established valuable relationships with an array of pharmaceutical organizations, accelerating particularly fast in the comparator sourcing space for biosimilar clinical trial sponsors. Without the backing of parent company Abacus Medicine, however, this level of success may not have been possible.
As the service provider enters a new phase of growth (with exciting plans to increase global presence currently in the works), it has rebranded to Abacus Medicine Pharma Services. Here, Simon Estcourt explains why.
Q: Why has Aposave rebranded to Abacus Medicine Pharma Services?
SE: In November 2019 Flemming Wagner the CEO of Abacus Medicine invited me to join the company to establish a new generation of pharma services company. Our vision was to do something that had not been done before – to take the core strengths of Abacus Medicine and combine this expertise of sourcing and distributing high value medicines across Europe with a proven pharma services leadership team with decades of experience.
The business was very much in a pilot phase; it was just testing the market and the old name Aposave had originated when the business was providing online pharmacy services. Over the past few years we’ve found that because of the strength of our parent company there’s been more value to fully explaining that we’re part of the Abacus Medicine Group, and we’ve now reached a size where it makes sense to be more vocal about who we are, and so the rebranding to Abacus Medicine Pharma Services makes perfect sense.
Q: What does the change mean for the market?
SE: It means that people instantly understand who we are, what we do and the fact that we’re a significant new provider in the pharma services market. People understand that we’re part of a global operation with annual turnover in the region of €1bn. For example, if your trial is dependent on a comparator product that’s being sourced through a partner, you want to have the reassurance that your partner has the resources and expertise to support your clinical trial to completion. The new name gives more confidence to the market that we are an established company that is part of a large multinational business which operates across Europe.
Q: What does it mean for your clinical trial clients?
SE: It’s about our ability to be more overt with the way we work with our parent company and what those benefits bring the organizations that we work with. The Abacus Medicine Group provides access to medicines across Europe, with over 260 suppliers. That gives us a number of things and our access to products in the market is unrivalled. At any point in time for a given molecule, we can assess what our capability is to source this product, what the price is likely to be, when the next batches will be available in every market, what suppliers have access to the product and from which countries we can source CoAs. We have real-time market intelligence providing predictive insights.
This then allows us to provide our clients with options and hybrid sourcing solutions. It’s not one size fits all. We really tailor our offering to their needs because of our ability to source products in the market.
This service is supported by our distribution infrastructure that exists within Europe. We’re able to move products around very quickly. All this is enabled because we’re part of the Abacus Medicine Group.
Q: What does it mean for your commercial partnerships clients?
SE: With commercial partnerships, we work with companies who haven’t yet entered a market and want to, or companies who have launched into a market but aren’t fulfilling the full potential of the product. Because we operate across Europe within The Abacus Medicine Group, we have a real strength in taking products to market and understanding not only the distribution and regulatory requirements, but also commercially what needs to happen for a product to be successful.
We have utilized some of the existing infrastructure from Abacus and layered on top of that some experience from a market access perspective and a team of medical advisors that work directly with key opinion leaders, regulators and hospital physicians. Suddenly we have a new offering that’s helping companies commercialize products more rapidly and helping them get to more patients across Europe.
Q: How do you plan to expand globally in 2022?
SE: We already operate outside of Europe with small offices in Hong Kong and the US, but it’s fair to say those have been under-utilized. The ability to source product from the US more efficiently is something that our clients in the clinical trial space are keen for us to do. We are increasing our operational infrastructure in the US by adding the use of a warehouse and more staff over the course of this year. This means we’ll be able to source a wider range of products from this important market and distribute to clinical trials around the world.
From our outpost in Hong Kong we’ve been very successful providing access to unlicensed medicines in the Hong Kong and Korean markets. We know that the number of clinical trials being conducted by Chinese companies has increased significantly over the last three to five years due to regulatory changes. There’s also a booming biotech market in China that needs access to comparator medicines. To serve this market, we’re recruiting a small team of Chinese nationals that are likely to be based in Shanghai, one of the important biotech hubs in China. We’re also establishing a Chinese legal entity that will make it much easier for Chinese companies to trade with us.
This means that our global offering will be more comprehensive. We will be better placed to support multinational companies that need to run clinical studies in many different countries to launch products globally. It’s an exciting time for us!